GAO Report on Federal Agencies' Non-Compliance With NAGPRA, Recommendations for the Obama Administration Among Topics at Tribal Historic Preservation Officers Meeting
WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly two decades after the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was passed federal auditors say the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and other key federal agencies that all have significant collections of Native American remains and cultural objects have not fully complied with NAGPRA. The results of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, "Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act: After Almost 20 Years, Key Federal Agencies Still Have Not Fully Complied with the Act," will be discussed at the 12th annual meeting of the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers or NATHPO hosted by the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin Aug. 9-13 in Green Bay, Wis. After decades of desecration or sending Native American human remains to museums or anthropology labs for study, Congress enacted NAGPRA in 1990 to protect indigenous human remains and cultural objects. The law also requires federal agencies and institutions that receive federal funding to return Native American human remains and cultural items to their respective families and tribal homelands. The agencies and museums are required to take inventory and notify tribes about their collections and work in collaboration with tribes in determining a cultural link to the remains or objects. But some federal agencies have not identified or reported all the remains or cultural items in their possession, according to the GAO report.
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